Dove with Branch
December 18, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Merry Christmas to you and yours! - Dean Van Leuven

Because both Christmas and New Years fall on our regular publication date this newsletter will be our Christmas edition. We will publish a special edition between Christmas and New Years which will contain guidelines to help your create peace and joy in your life in the new year. We will then resume our regular Monday publication on January 8th.

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies for the year are available on my website.

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Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All!
Dean Van Leuven   Globe Magnify Glass

Christmas has traditionally been a time when we have been able to stop and recognize the value of peace and experience the feeling of good will toward others. We have even taken this to the extent that we have put down our arms on the battlefield for the day.

If we can do this for one day, we can do this for two days. If we can do this for two days, we can do this for three days, and on and on --. All we have to do to end war is to keep this feeling in our hearts all of the time. We are fully capable of this once we learn how. Not just in our nation but in our own lives as well. Our life is created from the way we believe, not the other way around as so many think.

As a nation we always out-picture the attitude of our own collective consciousness in the world. To have peace in our world we must have peace in our own hearts. Let us make it our aim this Christmas season to find that feeling of “Peace and Good Will Toward Others” in our own heart – and then to continue to nurture and retain it one day at a time until we create a new and permanent consciousness of peace in first our self; then our nation; and ultimately the whole world.

Ask the Dean?
  Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I have enough funds to care for myself if am careful but if I dip into my savings I will not have enough to last beyond my expected lifetime plus a few years extra to be safe. My problem is that my children often find themselves in need of something that they feel is important in their life and are angry with me when I don’t help. Now my son wants to buy a restaurant and he is really upset because he says he will be able to pay me back the money easily. He sees me as blocking his great opportunity. I can’t afford to take the risk. How can I keep him from being upset with me? - Martha in Baltimore

Dear Martha, At this point he will probably be upset unless he gets the money. He didn’t learn the lesson that he was on his own as an adult when he was growing up. He will have to learn it on his own the hard way. At this point in life it is his problem if he expects things from you. It seems more than reasonable not to risk your savings. If you wouldn’t do it for yourself, then you should not do it for anyone. It is time he learns this lesson; and your other children as well. Do not feel guilty. Providing for your children as adults was not part of the bargain you took on. Don’t let them bully you into taking care of them. The lessons they learn will be more valuable to them than the money they want. – the Dean

Dear Dean, Somehow I have let people take advantage of me. When people ask for money or help I always give it, even when I can’t afford the time or money. I am upset afterwards and my family suffers because of it. I just can’t find a way to say no. I have been helping people so long they have come to expect it of me. I am afraid if I tell them no that they won’t like me any more. What do you suggest? – Frank in Alabama

Dear Frank, It is a great gift to be of service to others. That is how we get much of our joy in life. When we get beyond our capacity to give joyfully it no longer becomes a gift. For your own sake as well as others around you, you need to learn how to say no. Do not change your desire to help. Help when you receive joy from doing it. Learn to recognize your limit and say no in a cheerful way when you are beyond your limit. Most will understand and appreciate your consideration. Those who don’t understand have an added problem to deal with. – the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, or visit to submit by e-mail.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Failure always gives us the opportunity to try something else. One of the greatest challenges is to learn to accept not achieving our goal. We can learn to look at such disappointments as a signal to re-evaluate our goals and the methods of getting there. We can even look at it as an opportunity to pursue different goals.

Our perceptions are not facts. They are mirrors of our thoughts in that we choose what to focus on, and our belief system determines how we interpret the information. We get different interpretations because we have different beliefs. To change our interpretations we must change our beliefs.

The important thing to remember is that how we perceive a conversation with a loved one, the behavior of others, or our own personal performance depends on our unique frame of reference. If your perception produces a warm feeling great! But if it is upsetting, it is time to stop and review your perceptions to try to determine why you are upset. If you want your perceptions to deliver different results, you must make some changes. Learn to accept feeling upset as a signal that you are in need of a “perception adjustment.”

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone speaks to you notice how you feel about it.

Tuesday: Notice how you feel when someone disagrees with you.

Wednesday: Notice how you feel when a goal or desire is not realized.

Thursday: Think about what belief you have that makes you feel upset.

Friday: When your response is upsetting think about a way to feel about the same event that is not upsetting.

Saturday: Create a new belief that will allow you to feel positive about the upsetting event.

Sunday: Resolve to always find ways to create positive feelings about all of the events in your life.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at:

Additional Notes

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Observing and Understanding Yourself

Most of us don't really pay attention to what is going on in our mind. Learn how to pay attention to yourself so that you will be able to determine the changes you want to make in your life.

You can schedule a phone seminar for the days offered. You can schedule them at your convenience for any day Monday through Thursday between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM Pacific Time by calling 800-359-6015 or e-mailing at least 24 hours in advance to arrange a scheduled time.

The price is $15.00 for a one hour seminar. If you subscribe to my free newsletter “Insights from the Dean of Peace” you are entitled to two free phone seminars to use at your convenience.

If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.

If you know someone who might be interested in using any, or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them. Or send me their e-mail address, or telephone number, and I will be happy to send them the information.

Past issues of this newsletter for the year 2006 are archived on my website.

Remember if you want the free e- book and phone seminars you must subscribe to this newsletter at the website.

I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to


Contact Information

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Dean Of Peace | P.O. Box 535 | Elmira | OR | 97437